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New Jersey Gets An “F” For Tobacco Prevention [AUDIO]

Sylwia Kapuscinski, Getty Images

While New Jersey gets an “A” for smoke-free air, it failed miserably when it comes to tobacco prevention and control spending and cessation coverage. That’s according a report card released by the American Lung Association.

New Jersey spent $600,000 in 2011 on programs to prevent people from picking up the habit. “It is recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that New Jersey spend $119.8 million. $600,000 is only about 1.9 percent of that,” said Deborah Brown, CEO of the American Lung Association. “We’d like to see the commitment in funding tobacco prevention and cessation programs that there was in previous years.”

“Currently, 35 cents per smoker is spent on programs to help people quit. It’s recommended that $10.53 per smoker is spent. Again, we fall far short of where we need to be,” said Brown.

In 2012, the American Lung Association in New Jersey will continue to take important steps to make tobacco control a public health priority. “We’d like to see spending on tobacco prevention and cessation increase to the CDC-recommended level. We’d also like to see the cigarette tax increase by one dollar per pack,” said Brown.

“We want to make sure that we protect children from ever starting to smoke, so we don’t ever have to worry about helping them quit as adults. Any time you increase the tax on cigarettes, it deters young people from trying or continuing to use.”

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